Kayak Touring | How to Self Rescue If You Capsize

This episode of PaddleTV is brought to by the ACA — improving the paddlesports experience for over a century. Learn more at AmericanCanoe dot-org Although paddling alone is never a great idea, if you do choose to do it, you need to stay close enough to shore so you can comfortably swim, or you need to have some self rescue techniques up your sleeve that you know you can count on. And so in this video we’re going to take a quick look at a few of the most popular self rescue techniques. First off, it’s important to understand that self rescues are not easy, and it’s going to take a lot of practice to perfect them, especially when you consider that when you’re going to use them, you’ll probably be in rougher conditions. The absolute best self rescue technique you can learn is the roll, and if you want to paddle in the surf or other rough or exposed conditions, you owe it to yourself to learn a bomb-proof roll. If this is something interests you then I would highly recommend taking a rolling clinic. If you don’t have a reliable roll, or if for whatever other reasons you end up finding yourself swimming beside your kayak, here are two techniques for re-entering your kayak by yourself. The scramble is just what it sounds like —after flipping your boat upright you’ll scramble back onto and into your kayak. The best way to do this is to approach your boat from the side, at the stern. Grabbing the cockpit combing, you’ll pull your body on top of the kayak, keeping your chest down on the stern and deck. Staying as low as possible, throw a leg over the kayak so that you’re straddling it. You’ll now work your way forward until you can drop your butt into the seat. You can then grab your paddle and use it for support while you pull your legs back into the kayak. The paddle float rescue is a variation of the scramble which uses your paddle with a float attached to one blade for support. When doing the paddle float rescue, you’ll place the paddle across the back of the cockpit combing, perpendicular to the kayak. You’ll then hold the paddle and cockpit combing in one hand, and reach across to grab the combing withthe other hand. With your legs on the surface behind you, you’ll give a good kick and pull your chest up and on to your kayak. Staying low, you can then hook a foot over your paddle shaft to get some additional support while you turn your body to face the stern of your kayak and move your other leg into the cockpit. Keeping your weight on the paddle floatside of the kayak, you’ll then move your other leg into the cockpit and corkscrew your body back into the seat. Whether you’ve used the Scramble or the paddle float rescue, you’ll still have a swamped cockpit to pump out. Although the scramble or paddle float rescue can literally save your life if you choose to paddle alone, I personally couldn’t imagine paddling alone if I didn’t have a bombproof roll. And so if you’re interested in doing either, I’d highly recommend taking a rolling clinic and practicing the roll until you have complete confidence in it. On top of that, it’s important that you always carry a reliable communication device with you and that you leave a float plan with someone, so they know when to expect you to return and where to start looking for you if you don’t show up. Well, I hope you enjoyed this video and if you did please subscribe to our PaddleTV YouTube Channel, and stay tuned for lots more kayaking tips and tricks.

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